Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Something's Bothering Me

Something has been bothering me about Boise ever since we moved here. I haven't quite been able to settle in completely because of it and I haven't been able to nail it down. I think I've finally identified it... it's the food.

Those of you who know me know I love food. I really love good food. I will seek it out and will sometimes pay a premium price for it. I'm not complicated when it comes to food, either. Sometimes, the simple things are better. In Stillwater, some of my favorite places to eat were Eskimo Joe's, Rib Crib, McAlister's Deli, and El Chico. But these people in Boise just don't seem to get it.

Our first dining experience, outside of fast food, was this family-owned Mexican restaurant called Andrade's. It was fantastic. Authentic mexican food, efficient and extremely friendly service, and a comfortable atmosphere. Not a cheap meal but worth it. ($$$) I'd give it four and a half spoons (out of five) but so far, Andrede's has been the exception.

Since then, our dining experiences have consisted of the following:
  • A French bistro downtown - The food was decent but the menu was limited and it was mildly overpriced. ($$$) The atmosphere was laid back. A good place to have a light lunch if you're in the area. Three spoons.
  • A French cafe on the outskirts of downtown - Excellent coffee (Illy), limited menu with odd sandwiches, trendy atmosphere. Decent food but, again, mildly overpriced. ($$$) Two and a half spoons.
  • A Basque restaurant - Expensive. Really expensive. ($$$$) Ethnic food that, perhaps, I'm not used to. I had a bowl of prawns that were drowning in a soup of butter and LOTS of garlic. Tasty but it gave me a stomach ache. Two spoons (mostly because of the prices).
  • A micro distillery - Good prices ($$+) but it's a burger joint that distills it's own rum, vodka and gin. Nothing to write home about in the food department. Three spoons.
  • A sixties Polynesian-themed restaurant - Nice atmosphere (they really know how to go with a theme), slightly overpriced, ($$$) lousy drinks, mediocre food. One and one half spoons.
  • Trendy restaurant in historic district - Good French fries. Mediocre service, somewhat expensive, ($$$) bland food, odd deserts (who puts anise in a chocolate cake, adds a berry compote, then has the audacity to name it "Chocolate Overload Cake"?). I was non-plussed. One and one half spoons. (The wife wanted me to be sure to point out that she has had good food the two times she's been there)
It seems that the point of a restaurant around here is to create an atmosphere where people want to be and, oh yeah, we serve food, too. But you pay for the atmosphere. Besides Andrade's, my absolute, hands down, favorite place to eat in Boise is... get ready for it... Jack In The Box. Seriously!! They have great service, a staff with a FANTASTIC attitude, good food (try the Sirloin Burger or the BBQ Ranch salad), and cheap prices. Plus, they serve breakfast any time. What more could you want?

If you live in or have visited Boise, please tell me where the good restaurants are. I like to eat and I really like to eat good food. I'm STARVING!!

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